Mentorship Matters: Does Early Faculty Contact Lead to Quality Faculty Interaction?

Abstract

This study seeks to understand the factors that contribute to a type of student–faculty interaction known to have particular benefits for students, faculty mentorship. Using three-time-point data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, this study employed structural equation modeling to investigate the relationship between contact and communication with faculty in the first year of college and faculty mentorship in the senior year. Results suggest that early interaction with faculty serves as a socialization process in college that leads students to have more meaningful interactions with faculty later in college, in the form of mentorship. The study extends the field’s understanding of faculty mentorship and offers important implications for institutional practices.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Due to the nature of the CIRP survey administrations CIRP does not calculate survey by survey response rates. In 2006/07 a total of 725 institutions participated in the TFS, therefore the longitudinal institutional response rate (TFS, YFCY, CSS participation) is 25 %. See Pryor et al. 2006 and 2007 for details on sampling. For institutions participating in all three surveys, the average ratio of three-survey respondents to TFS respondents ranged from 1 to 50 %.

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Correspondence to Marcia V. Fuentes.

Appendices

Appendix 1

See Tables 4 and 5.

Table 4 Demographic description of study sample compared to national norms, by percentages
Table 5 Descriptives of incoming freshman measures in model

Appendix 2

See Table 6.

Table 6 Variable definitions, construct items and coding schemes

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Fuentes, M.V., Ruiz Alvarado, A., Berdan, J. et al. Mentorship Matters: Does Early Faculty Contact Lead to Quality Faculty Interaction?. Res High Educ 55, 288–307 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-013-9307-6

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Keywords

  • Mentorship
  • Student–faculty interactions
  • Undergraduate socialization
  • Structural equation modeling